The 5 Best Children’s Books About Dogs for Curious Kiddos

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: September 27, 2022
© Shllabadibum Bubidibam/Shutterstock.com

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Do you have a young dog lover in your home? If the answer to that is a resounding yes, you’ve come to the right place. There are tons of children’s books about dogs out there that you can select from. If you have a child eager to own a puppy, introducing books that teach about that responsibility is crucial. If you’ve jumped in and have a puppy, but lack resources, a puppy training book can help ease your worries. It’ll provide your family with a resource as you learn how to care for your new furry friend.

Although formal training books are available, there are also some incredible fictional stories written specifically for children. There are also books that are just full of facts. If you’d like to introduce your kiddo to an encyclopedia of dogs, for example, they can learn everything from different dog breeds to how to care for a dog to all of those weird antics that dogs engage in. They can learn to decipher the body language of pups! Depending on what you want your child to learn, there is a book out there for you. Below, we highlight the five best children’s books about dogs for curious young minds. We also explain how to choose the right book!

  1. The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids
  2. The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids
    • 208 pages.
    • Customers recommend this book for children ages 6 through 10.
    • Teaches various characteristics of over 150 dog breeds.
    Check Amazon
  3. Puppy Training for Kids: Teaching Children the Responsibilities and Joys of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship
  4. Puppy Training for Kids: Teaching Children the Responsibilities and Joys of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship
    • 96 pages.
    • Customers recommend this book for children ages 7 through 10.
    • Covers a number of topics on training puppies.
    Check Amazon
  5. Puppy Love Finger Puppet Board Book for Little Dog Lovers, Ages 1-4 (Children's Interactive Finger Puppet Board Book)
  6. Puppy Love Finger Puppet Board Book for Little Dog Lovers, Ages 1-4 (Children's Interactive Finger Puppet Board Book)
    • 12 pages.
    • Customers recommend this book for children up to 2 years old.
    • Part of a series of 32 finger puppet books.
    Check Amazon
  7. Cutie Sue Gets a Dog: A Children's Books Teaching Responsibility for Pets
  8. Cutie Sue Gets a Dog: A Children's Books Teaching Responsibility for Pets
    • Recommended for children ages 3 through 7.
    • The sixth book in a series of six.
    Check Amazon
  9. Tula: a story about believing in yourself
  10. Tula: a story about believing in yourself
    • 32 pages.
    • A newer read, having been published in 2021.
    Check Amazon

Best Overall: The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids

Best Overall
The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids
  • 208 pages.
  • Customers recommend this book for children ages 6 through 10.
  • Teaches various characteristics of over 150 dog breeds.
Check Amazon

The best overall children’s book about dogs is The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids. This book encompasses over 150 dog breeds, with each arranged in seven different categories. Children can learn about hunting dogs, hound dogs, non-sporting dogs, sporting dogs, terrier dogs, toy dogs, and working dogs. The book packs pictures of each dog, and has tons of fun facts that will fascinate your kids. For example, did you know that Icelandic sheepdogs are born with extra toes? How about that dalmatians are born without spots? All of these fun facts will keep your child’s interest engaged as they flip to each new page.

This is a fantastic book to pick up for teaching your kids more about dogs. It shows the different characteristics of each of the dogs featured. Each dog gets either a page or an entire spread to itself and all of the photographs are full color. Also included is information about training and how to best care for a pup. This is a great resource if you’re teaching children how to behave around dogs.

On average, customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars. Parents recommend this for dog-obsessed kiddos. Some parents have even started early, sharing this book with their toddlers. Although they have to read the facts to them, the toddlers seem engaged and parents are excited that they’re learning young. Another customer says that her daughter is completely obsessed with dogs and until they purchase a home where they can invite a furry friend, she is packing her library with dog books. This one quickly became her daughter’s favorite and she takes it with her wherever she goes.

Best for Puppy Training: Puppy Training for Kids

Best for Puppy Training
Puppy Training for Kids: Teaching Children the Responsibilities and Joys of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship
  • 96 pages.
  • Customers recommend this book for children ages 7 through 10.
  • Covers a number of topics on training puppies.
Check Amazon

Bringing a new puppy home is exciting all around. You have to watch that tiny wagging tail and your kiddo’s eyes light up during that first meeting. More heartwarming moments ensue, but to create the best environment for your pet, you need to cover puppy training. This book is all about teaching kids all of the responsibilities and joys of puppy care and training. Topics include puppy supplies, house training and socializing, understanding behavior and body language, and keeping your puppy out of trouble.

This book isn’t all about responsibilities and training, however. To make it fun, they also have to cover the games that you can incorporate during puppy training. Children will learn about the exercise that puppies need, selecting chew toys, clicker training, and introducing their puppy to others. Also, the book has advice for parents on how to guide their kids toward responsible dog ownership.

Customers have rated this book 4.5 out of five stars. Customers have found it incredibly helpful in preparing their children for their new puppy. One customer loves it because it explains in detail that dog ownership is a big responsibility and if kids are first-time dog owners. It helps to prepare young minds to look at dog ownership from a responsible perspective instead of just thinking of the fun, games, and cuddles. Some customers feel that the lessons need to be supplemented with an explanation about how long training takes and the patience required for young, learning puppies. But overall, they find it to be a terrific resource.

Best Interactive: Puppy Love Finger Puppet Board Book for Little Dog Lovers

Best Interactive
Puppy Love Finger Puppet Board Book for Little Dog Lovers, Ages 1-4 (Children's Interactive Finger Puppet Board Book)
  • 12 pages.
  • Customers recommend this book for children up to 2 years old.
  • Part of a series of 32 finger puppet books.
Check Amazon

For the best interactive children’s book about dogs, you can pick up this finger puppet board book. It’s perfect for younger kids between the ages of 1 and 4. It helps introduce your kids to puppies in a fun way. The board book is basic, explaining how to train a puppy by saying “sit,” for example. It talks about giving your puppy scratches behind the ear or a kiss on the head. It’s written in a rhyming fashion and also features a super cute finger puppet that’s built into the book. Your kiddo can wiggle it or snuggle with it, and it really helps to make the story come alive for little ones.

The built-in puppy finger isn’t just about creating interactive play, but it also helps to develop fine motor skills. Since the story is written with rhyme, your kiddo is more likely to remain engaged and entertained. The illustrations are all very brightly colored and the book is designed so that you incorporate fun and play with learning, which is the optimal recipe for helping babies and toddlers as their minds develop in those early years. You can pick this up for your dog enthusiast kiddo at home or make it a gift for any other little ones that enjoy books about dogs.

This board book has earned 4.8 out of five stars on average. One customer bought this book for her niece and her nephew to share. They’re both one year old and absolutely love the little puppet that comes with the book. Their parents love it because it’s a board book and not easy to tear through. They’re surviving the one-year phase while entertaining the kids and keeping the playroom from getting filled with ripped up book pages. Another customer purchased it for her toddler and decided she had to order four more so that she could take them with her on long plane trips and other travel activities. She finds that it’s great at holding her toddler’s attention and she loves that she can get creative using the finger puppet.

Best for Teaching Responsibility: Cutie Sue Gets a Dog

Best for Teaching Responsibility
Cutie Sue Gets a Dog: A Children's Books Teaching Responsibility for Pets
  • Recommended for children ages 3 through 7.
  • The sixth book in a series of six.
Check Amazon

We highlighted a book that teaches responsibility, but because it’s about the reality of training, it can be dry. This is a book in a bestselling series called Cutie Sue Gets a Dog. It tells a fictional story about the process of bringing a new puppy home. It tells the story of Cutie Sue, who badly wants a dog, but her parents are not entirely sure that she’s ready to take on the responsibility of having a pet. The book answers the question if she’ll be able to manage becoming a good dog owner and a true friend.

Eventually, Cutie Sue’s parents allow her to adopt a Labrador puppy. She has that initial phase of excitement, but children tend to lose interest after the shininess of a new toy wears off. That’s when the story presents the reality of having a dog in the home. She wonders if she can give the dog the attention and care that it needs. This is a rhyming story that you can read out loud to your kids, whether they are toddlers or older. If you’re looking to teach your kids about pet adoption or just want to get their feet wet because you know they want to bring a dog home, this is a great resource that teaches them the responsibility of owning a dog in a fun way.

This book is rated 4.5 out of five stars. Customers comment that the cute illustrations are all relevant to the lessons being taught throughout the story. The read is easy and entertaining, making it perfect for kids who may have trouble with a more formal book. Customers love that the author tackled an age-old issue with children wanting pets but not fully grasping the level of responsibility required to own a pet. They describe it as a book you don’t want to miss because it teaches kids how to care for, love, and follow through with consistency when it comes to caring for a new dog in the home.

Best Inspirational: Tula: A Story About Believing in Yourself

Best Inspirational
Tula: a story about believing in yourself
  • 32 pages.
  • A newer read, having been published in 2021.
Check Amazon

Everyone needs a little inspiration, and this story is all about believing in yourself. It tells the story of a puppy that was born under a tree in an orange grove. The story is told by Abuelita Ana Sofia, who goes on to explain that this puppy was the last of the litter and didn’t get a lot of attention. She was much smaller than the others, but she had long legs that made running easy. Her fur color was reminiscent of Christmas morning hot cocoa. Instead of passing snap judgments, Abuelita Ana Sofia looked past the puppy’s closed eyes and decided to name her Tula.

If you have a kiddo in the primary grades, this is a perfect gift. The story is heartwarming, and your kiddo can either have you read it to them or read it themselves. It incorporates a couple of different themes. It’s very sensitive and emotional yet it incorporates a level of suspense that aids with engagement. It’s cross cultural, which also offers another level to the story, and it can tweak your emotions, even as an adult. The style is lyrical, making the process of reading along really pleasant. The added suspense can be great in classroom environments because you can read up to that peak moment and then pick up the story the next day.

Customers have rated this book 4.5 out of five stars. They love that it teaches empathy and the power of love. It also teaches the concept of loyalty. It’s described as a sweet, delightful, wonderful book that is only enhanced by the illustrator‘s excellent work. Although it’s geared for young readers, it expertly inspires deep thinking and feeling. One customer says that the paperback version is an incredible addition to her family’s library. She finds that you can really appreciate the beauty of the written word and all of the illustrations that enhance the story. She also comments that there is a surprise in the ending pages of the book that you can’t miss.

How to Choose the Right Children’s Book About Dogs

With so many different types of books about dogs written specifically for children, it can get hard to choose which one might be right for your kiddo. You may even be thinking of building a library for your kids and incorporating different types of books about dogs. Wherever you are in the decision-making process, we want to help guide you in selecting the right children’s book about dogs for your kids.

Purpose

It’s important to consider the purpose of the children’s book about dogs. Are you interested in teaching your little one about the responsibilities of dog ownership? You may simply be looking for a great fictional story that rhymes and helps your child remain engaged during reading activities. It could also be that you are starting to introduce your baby or toddler to books and have found that dogs are of particular interest to him or her.

First, decipher the purpose of a children’s book about dogs and then select one that perfectly meets that goal. If you want to teach your child to learn to love reading, pick up a book that is fun and exciting and has a lyrical flow to it. If you have an older kid who is ready to really understand the responsibilities that come with dog ownership, you may want to pick up the puppy training book we highlighted above, which covers all the aspects of puppy training in an instructive and more formal manner.

Reading Level

The reading level is another important consideration. Some parents choose to purchase books that are at a higher reading level to get their kid’s minds going and to keep for future use. If that’s your parenting style, we say go with it. However, the opposite doesn’t work too well. If you have an older kiddo and you purchase a book that’s really meant for toddlers, they won’t find too much interest in it. They might flip through the pages casually but won’t be fully engaged. Making sure that you pick up a children’s book about dogs at the right reading level ensures that your child remains engaged with a story and with any lessons taught within it.

Durability

Durability is another important consideration, particularly if you have toddlers. When they’re at that hand-to-mouth stage, everything gets destroyed. Picking up a good board book is a better option than a paperback for really young kids. It’ll make sure that those books last so they can enjoy them for months to come. They might even be able to be passed off to a younger sibling. Board books are also extremely important in classroom environments because there are so many little sticky fingers around that could potentially ruin a book that isn’t made for durability.

The Primary Types of Children’s Books About Dogs

There are lots of different categories that you can explore when it comes to children’s books about dogs, but we want to break down the two primary categories you’ll find when looking for books to bring home to your kids.

Fiction

Fictional stories can teach tons of heartwarming lessons and help to keep your child’s creativity engaged. Sometimes these books are written with rhymes and other times they are written in a more mature fashion, which pulls your kids into the storyline effortlessly. Fiction books don’t serve just as entertainment, but also as a method to learn about the intricacies and more mature concepts that life presents as your kids grow.

Non-Fiction

Non-fiction varieties are perfect for learning the realities of caring for a dog. This could be puppy training manuals or other books like the encyclopedia we highlighted in the best overall category above. These books teach facts like different dog breeds, proper care for dogs, and dog behaviors and body language. They’re incredibly informative and can aid with teaching curious kiddos all about dogs. It’s nice to incorporate a little bit of both so that your kids get access to factual information and can also explore some fictional storylines that engage their creativity.

How to Prepare for a Pet Dog

Preparing for a pet dog can be an exciting time, especially when you incorporate the whole family. One of the first things that you’ll need is food and water bowls. You’ll also need to pick up some toys. You could pick up a grooming kit, any safety equipment that you may require, like security gates, and of course, an identification tag. There are certain basics that are required before you bring the dog home and then there are the things that you need as you and your family bond with the new furry addition.

The best way to prepare for bringing the dog home is to pick up a book about dogs. It’s especially important to pick up a book that teaches responsibility because kids need to grasp the concept that although dogs are super friendly and fun, they also require special attention and proper care to remain happy and healthy. With a guidebook at your disposal, you and your kids can have a resource to turn to when something new happens. For example, if your puppy starts displaying a new behavior, you can turn to those pages and figure out what it means together.

Up Next…

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The 5 Best Children’s Books About Dogs for Curious Kiddos FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are the world’s most famous dogs?

There are tons of famous dogs, many of them fictional. For example, in the film Marley and Me, there was a Labrador pup named Marley. This film became a household staple for many, especially in homes with kiddos. Another well-known dog is Beethoven. This was a St. Bernard that was featured in the 1992 movie called Beethoven. Some other famous dogs include Toto, who was featured in the Wizard of Oz, and Bruiser, from Legally Blonde. Bruiser is filled with personality as a Chihuahua and perfectly complements Elle, the leading lady in that film.

Are dogs good pets?

Dogs are incredibly good pets. They are loyal, loving, stress relievers, heart melters, and always excited to greet you when you come home. They deliver the kind of unconditional love that is almost too intense to believe. Just the act of petting a dog helps to lower your blood pressure and slow your breathing. It’s like they are a meditative experience. They deliver tons of giggles with their antics, and you know laughter is medicine. They’re incredibly cuddly and always want your attention and affection. They are a big responsibility; however, if you’ve ever owned a dog, you know that you would take on all the responsibility required all over again just to soak in all of the beautiful moments you spend with these four-legged, furry life companions.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.